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Ironman 70.3 Florida - quick recap

When planning out our 2017 racing season, Karel and I thought long and hard about our 2017 and 2018 season goals as we are all about the developmental process and thinking long term as athletes. Once we established our goals, we selected races that featured courses that would best suit our individual strengths as endurance triathletes.

With Karel focusing on two Ironman distance triathlons this summer (IM Placid and IM Chatty), I am focused on half IM distance racing to get more experience racing before returning back to the Ironman distance in 2018 (likely, Ironman Austria to try to break 10 hours). With this being my 11th year of endurance triathlon racing (and a new age group as I turn 35 in May) and Karel now entering his 5th year of calling himself a triathlete as a 40 year old, we both realize that we may be nearing our prime as endurance athletes and we don't want to waste a day of being able to use, push and challenge our healthy bodies. It's such a gift to be able to do what we can do with our body and seeing that we both love living an active lifestyle in Greenville, SC, triathlon is the perfect outlet for us to set goals and to work hard for them. Plus, the sport of triathlon is so much fun and it allows us to meet inspiring people, to connect with other like minded individuals, to travel and to escape from our daily life stressors and to do something that makes us feel alive and in the moment.

With Ironman 70.3 St. George on our must-do race course bucket list, we decided that this would be the year that we would tackle the difficult course with a handful of our Trimarni athletes so we registered last summer. But, we decided that we needed a tune-up half to dust off the rust and cobwebs since it had been a while since we both raced a long distance race. Thus, we selected Haines City as the venue for our tune-up half in early April, which would leave us a few days to recover and then tune-up again with some final prep for St. George. IM 70.3 Florida featured a wetsuit legal (73 degree) 1.2 lake swim, a mostly flat 56 mile bike course with a few gentle rollers and  13.1 mile 3-loop hilly run.

For us, racing hurts. Although we love racing, it is much more than us showing up and completing the distance. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, Karel and I show up to every race to compete among the competition. We dig deep, take risks and put ourselves into very uncomfortable situations on race day in order to test our fitness and to see what we can accomplish on race day. There is nothing "safe" about how we race. We physically and mentally go to places on race day that we never get to experience on race day.

Regardless of your reason for participating in a triathlon, for every triathlete, the nerves, anxieties, unknowns, pressures and emotions that you experience in the 24 hours before a race and on race day can not be experienced in training. No matter how much fun you have in training or how much you love racing, race day brings nerves and nerves can certainly negatively affect how the body performs on race day.

Race week also brings phanton taper pains. Yes, this is a real thing. In the days leading up to a race (especially an important one), you suddenly feel like you have a cold, you have the flu or you are injured. But ironically, on race day, you don't feel a thing (thank goodness for endorphins). It is important to go through these feelings (that are only felt on race day/week) as you need to build confidence that these things are normal and expected but will not keep you from performing well on race day. Thus, you have to go through them to mentally feel prepared for race day so you can physically perform with your trained and fit body. More than anything, a tune-up race gives us an opportunity to be in a race environment to go through the motions of swimbikerun when there is absolutely no expectations on the outcome. Seeing that every race is different, putting pressure on yourself to achieve specific goals at every single race can create an overwhelming amount stress and can make you lose the joy of racing. Although some races may be of more importance to perform well than others, racing is all about the experience of trying your best and giving your best, regardless of the priority. But without tune-up races, you miss out on the important opportunities to simply "test" things out before the races that really count.

One of the most liberating experiences about racing is having no expectations about the outcome. This means not chasing a goal time, goal paces or goal watts. When you have expectations, you become attached to these preconceived outcomes of how things are expected to go. This can create fear and a tremendous amount of pressure. But as any athlete knows, racing is unpredictable. There is absolutely no way that you can expect certain things to happen in a certain way or in a certain time. Things "come up" on race day and you just can't plan for everything. Additionally, when you have expectations and big goals, it's easy to feel defeated and disappointed if you don't meet those goals. Racing is a reward in and of itself for it shows that you put in the work and got yourself to the start line of a race and hopefully, made it to the finish. The last thing you want is to beat yourself up for having a "bad" race because you were so heavily focused on the outcome. While big scary goals help us all get out of bed in the morning and train when there are many distractions in life, it's important to not get attached to an outcome when you are racing for the outcome will fall into place, in the right way, by simply remaining in the present moment and constantly taking care of what needs to happen during each mile of the race.

Ironman 70.3 Florida was a race of no expectations which meant that there was absolutely no way that Karel and I would experience a sense of failure on race day. Certainly, this approach gave us a lot of freedom to take risks and to test our fitness. And as the saying goes, good things come when you least expect (and don't plan for) them. 

1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike/13.1 mile run

Swim: 31:25
T1: 2:56
Bike: 2:31:27 (22.19mph)
T2: 2:43
Run: 1:39.32 (7:35 min/mile)
Time: 4:48.03
Overall place (female): 3rd
AG place (35-39): 1st
IM 70.3 World Championship qualifier

Swim: 31:19
T1: 2:34

Bike: 2:18.59 (24.18mph)

T2: 2:26

Run: 1:24.28 (6:26 min/mile)

Time: 4:19.46
Overall place (male): 17th
AG place (40-44): 3rd
IM 70.3 World Championship qualifier


Goggles: TYR Pink 2.0 special ops 
Wetsuit: Xterra Vengeance long sleeve
Gadget - Garmin 920
Kit: Canari custom short sleeve Trimarni tri suit
Sport Bra: Oakley Women continuity bra
Pre-race fuel: 3 homemade pancakes w/ syrup, banana slices and butter and peanut butter. Hardboiled egg w/ salt. Glass of water and cup of coffee. 1 scoop Clif Cran Razz hydration in throw away plastic bottle sipping in the 45 minutes before race. 

Bike: Trek Speed Concept 7 series custom (pink rocket) w/ Shimano ultegra Di2 shifting.
Tires/tubes: Specialized S-works turbo tires and vittoria latex tubes
Gearing: Front: 39/54. Rear sprocket: 11/28, 11sp
Wheels: Alto cycling. Front: cc56. Rear: cc86
Chain: KMC X11SL Pink
Saddle: ISM PN 1.0
Bottle cages: Xlab turbo wing with 2 Gorilla cages (rear), Aerobars - Bontrager pink cage
Helmet: Lazer Wasp Air with shield
Fuel: 3 bottles each with Infinit Trimarni base blend (230 calories per bottle, grape) 
Socks: Swiftwick 
Shoes: Bontager RXL hilo
Power meter: Garmin Vector 2 pedals
Bike computer: Garmin Edge 810

Shoes: New Balance Zante (Pre-race warm-up shoes: Hoka Clifton 3)
Hat: Trimarni Boco gear performance trucker
Sunglasses: Oakley women radar lock with vents
Hydration belt: Nathan mercury 2 (2 x 10 ounce flasks)
Fuel: water and 1 scoop EFS grape per flask 

Goggles: Michael Phelps (MP) XCEED
Wetsuit: Xterra Vengeance long sleeve
Gadget - Garmin 735XT
Kit: Canari custom short sleeve Trimarni tri suit
Pre-race fuel: Bowl of oatmeal w/ brown sugar 3.5 hours prior. Espresso. Croissant with jam and a few sips chocolate protein Bolthouse drink ~2 hours prior, sipping 1 scoop LEVELEN in water bottle. 1 Hot Shot pre race. 

Bike: Trek Speed Concept 8 series custom w/ Durace Di2 shifting 
Wheels: Alto cycling. Front: ct86. Rear: Disc CT311. With CeramicSpeed bearings.
Tires: Tubular S-Works turbo
Gearing: Front: 55/42. Rear: 11/25, 11sp
Chain: Ultra Optimized Chain
Saddle: Pro Aerofuel Carbon
Bottle cages: Rear: Profile mount with Gorilla cages. Front: Bontrager 
Helmet: Giro aerohead 
Fuel: 3 bottles (1 with Infinit Trimarni base blend, 1 with 2 scoops INFINIT Speed and 1 with 1 scoop LEVELEN). 1 Hot Shot (~1/2 way), 1 powerbar gel, 1 Enervitene cheerpack before the end of the bike. 
Socks: None
Shoes: Bontager RXL hilo
Power meter: Garmin Vector 2 pedals
Bike computer: Garmin Edge 810

Shoes: New Balance Zante breathe (Pre-race warm-up shoes: NB vongo)
Hat: Trimarni Boco gear performance trucker
Sunglasses: Oakley radar lock
Socks: Swiftwick 
Hydration belt: Fuel belt helium (3 flasks )
Fuel: 1 Hot Shot in T2. 1 Enervitene in T2. Flasks: 2 with EFS Pro, 1 with Enervitene diluted with water)

A BIG thank you to our 
2017 Trimarni sponsors and affiliates:

-Run In - for helping us with all of our running needs
-New Wave Swim Buoy - for keeping us safe and seen in the open water
-Mg12 - for helping our muscles stay relaxed
-Clif Bar - for quality ingredients in quality sport nutrition
-Cheribundi - for providing a safe, natural and delicious way to reduce inflammation
-Veronica's Health Crunch - for the most delicious hand made crunch - ever!
-Infinit - for customizable sport nutrition
-Levelen - for helping us optimize our hydration needs through sweat testing
-Hot Shot - for keeping Karel cramp-free!
-Solestar - for maximum stability, better power transmission
-Boco Gear - for helping us race in style
-Canari - for the most comfortable, functional and stylish gear
-Xterra - for the fastest wetsuit ever (so fast, Karel is now beating me in the swim!)
-Alto cycling - for enginnering the fastest race wheels
-Swamp Rabbit Inn and Lodge - for keeping our campers happy with perfect lodging options
-Salem Anesthesia - for your Trimarni support